Negligence in the legal sense is an act of carelessness that has caused harm. It is a very important part of the U.S Tort law, and it finds its application in many civil law suits. For example, if car runs a stop sign and hits a pedestrian then the responsibility of the accident falls on the car driver as the accident arose due to his negligence.
When Will I be considered negligent?
In Essence, you will be considered negligent in the eyes of law if you fail to act with the same level of care as another person of ordinary prudence would have acted in the same situation; you caused damage due to your carelessness, and the damage done was a foreseeable consequence of your action.
Negligence can be considered as both an act and an omission. An omission will only be considered as negligence when there was a duty on your part to act.
It is rare that the sole responsibility of negligence falls on one party, often both the defendant and the plaintiff, the injured party, share the responsibility of negligence as both of them contribute to the harm that was caused.
When the negligence of the plaintiff contributes to the harm that was caused to him or her then the state applies a comparative negligence law.
What is the law of comparative negligence?
The law of comparative negligence assigns damages by the percentage of how much each party is blamable and then both the parties pay each other for the damages accordingly. The law of pure comparative negligence is followed in California. Under this law, the plaintiff will receive the exact amount of the damages he suffered minus the amount that was caused due to his or her own negligence. For example, if the harm caused to you was 25% due to your own negligence and 80% due to the defendant then you will receive a legal compensation for 75% of your damages.
Will I still be held responsible if I am partially negligent?
Determining whose negligence caused injury to the plaintiff can be quite difficult. Often it is more than one person whose negligence contributed to the injury, and sometimes plaintiff may even have contributed to his or her own injury. The main thing is that you can receive the damages for your injury even if you are partially responsible.